Former NITRO Frontman JIM GILLETTE - "I Was Actually Approached About Singing With VINNIE VINCENT INVASION Before They Had MARK SLAUGHTER"
July 3, 2021, a year ago
In the latest episode of the 80's Glam metal Podcast. host Metal Mike catches up with Jim Gillette from Nitro. They revisit Nitro’s classic debut, O.F.R., Gillette's influences, and reveals why the Nitro reunion that began to take shape in 2016 fizzled out.
Nitro was launched in 1988 featuring Gillette, guitarist Michael Angelo Batio, bassist T. J. Racer and drummer Bobby Rock. Nitro released thier debut album, O.F.R. in 1989. The second album Nitro II: H.W.D.W.S., released in 1992. The band called it quits in 1993. Previously unreleased demo recordings were released in 1999 on the album Gunnin' for Glory.
On the possibility of new music
Gillette: "I’ve got a bunch of songs I’ve been messing with. This fall/winter I’ll be putting some stuff down. The direction is all over the map, whatever strikes me at the time. Some kinda light stuff and some real, real heavy stuff..no real middle ground. I think some of it would be Jim Gillette solo, and some would for be a real heavy band."
His thoughts on O.F.R.
Gillette: "I think I was a lunatic. I think we did what we set out to do....the highest and the fastest. I haven’t heard anyone since sing in the octave range that I did on that album...or do the 32 second 'Machine Gun Eddie' scream. It’s still winning as the big long screams go. I have good thoughts about it, bad thoughts, wishful thoughts about it. I wish we could have had a real producer like Bob Rock or somebody. We were never happy with the sound. We didn’t have much of a budget. The record company was pushing us in directions, I wish they would have left us alone. They really pushed us to go absolutely ballistic with the playing and singing."
On drummer Bobby Rock and Vinnie Vincent Invasion
Gillette: "I just thought he was the best drummer out there. He was never a member of Nitro, we just asked him to play on the album. I loved the first Vinnie Vincent album with Robert Fleischman on it. I thought he was an amazing singer. I was actually approached by Dana Strum about singing with Vinnie at one point, before they had Mark. I like the band, but it never really works out. As great as Ripper is, Priest didn’t do anything with him. Look at Accept, Blaze in Maiden...you can go on and on. I was excited about doing my own thing. I knew if I was in that thing, I’d be told exactly what to do. I wasn’t into that. I figured if I was in a band as a hired gun, I wouldn’t have anymore fun than if I was working at Wal Mart."
On the extreme look on the back cover of O.F.R.
Gillette: "It came from the record company. They wanted us to have the look...that glam look. You think you won’t do things once you get to a certain point. Then you realize if you don’t play along, they won’t do anything with you. Your album will go straight in the toilet. We never once played live with our hair up or with any make up on. They wanted the photos like that. Everything bigger than life, over the top with the music and the look."
On what went wrong with the Nitro reunion
Gillette: "Mike had a lot of stuff going on. His mom got sick and then she died. She was a great lady. He was going though all that. I was busy building houses. It just wasn’t in the cards. He’d start to go and then something would happen. We could have went to a label that specializes in 80’s bands, but we didn’t want to go and be in the same situation as round 1. We were going to try and do it on our own. We were working on some crazy, heavy stuff. The fans would have heard some stuff that was similar to O.F.R., but we never got to record it. “It Won’t Die” was the most normal, non-scary song that we had written. They wouldn’t have been disappointed. I don’t know if the music will ever come out. Think about O.F.R., how can we be anymore “Out Fucking Rageous” than what we did on our first album? What are we gonna do?"